Weekly Digital News Roundup: Aug 27 – Aug 31
Square no more: Instagram allowing landscape and vertical crops now
- According to The LA Times, Instagram is doing away with a requirement that photos and videos uploaded to the app be cropped into squares, a move that appeases frustrated users but removes some of the simplicity that made it special. Instagram is giving users the option to display their photos in landscape and portrait orientations. That’ll be a big change for the hugely popular image-sharing app.
- When co-founder Kevin Systrom started designing Instagram more than five years ago, older-style, square-shooting cameras such as Polaroids and the Holga he used as a college student inspired him. Squares looked nice on the smaller-screened smartphones of the day. Requiring everyone to use square crops allowed the app to stand out from competitors and created a consistency that added to its clean aesthetic. It also was one less detail people had to consider during editing, making uploading a snappier process.
- But now displays are bigger, video is more prevalent and Instagram users, including advertisers, are getting more creative with their posts. Square had become too rigid a constraint as apps such as Snapchat turned vertical orientation into a defaultfor millions of teenagers and young adults.
Check out Google’s new logo.
- According to The Washington Post, on Tuesday, Google announced that it has a new look for its familiar logo. The company hasn’t changed it beyond all recognition, however. The letters in Google’s name are still in the same four colors — yellow, blue, red and green — but the font has been updated to lose its serifs and evoke a cleaner, more modern style.
- The new logo, according to Google, is supposed to match its broad reach across multiple devices, rather than the desktop computers of old. The company has also updated many other of its symbols, including the small blue “g” that you often see as a thumbnail on its services. That is now a four-color “g.”
- This is the fifth time that the company has changed its logo since it first launched in 1998. Google has also invented its own typeface called “Product Sans,” as part of the redesign. Like the logo, it draws its inspiration from the text some of us may remember from old schoolbooks. The font and the logo have been designed to look polished and unique at any screen size.
PayPal now lets you send and receive money through URLs
- According to Mashable, Paying people throughPayPal just got a bit easier. The company rolled out another person-to person-payments service Tuesday: PayPal.Me, a barebones payments app that uses a URL to allow people to collect and send money to people they know.
- Rather than a standalone app like the PayPal-owned Venmo, PayPal.Me is essentially an extension of PayPal’s existing request money feature. Those who opt in to the feature set up a personalized URL that is linked to their PayPal account. Once set up, anyone who views the link is able to send money through their own PayPal account. The process of sending and receiving payments are more or less the same as any other PayPal transaction. Users must log in for each transaction and transactions are limited to $10,000 for those that have verified their accounts.
- Though its core functionality is nearly identical to Venmo, Meron Colbeci, PayPal’s senior director of global consumer product, says PayPal.Me stands out from PayPal’s other personal payments offerings because of its potential appeal to groups of people, and the minimal setup effort involved.